We have been blessed with a healthy and successful calving season this year! Things can always get a little hairy and stressful in the thick of calving, trying to keep track of all the new calves each day and making sure they are progressing as normal. My husband and I recently moved from Ohio to join our family business, and he thoroughly enjoyed being called to help deliver calves and making nightly rounds to check for new calves. There’s something satisfying and relaxing about spending evenings just watching all the new calves frolicking and playing in the fields, and they grow so fast! They can’t stay cute and cuddly forever and with growth comes the next step in our cattle raising process.
It’s been awhile since Indiana was a wild and untamed place, but sometimes we like to pretend that we live in the days of cross country cattle drives and endless open spaces. A few weeks ago, we were able to share in some old traditions with friends and family at our annual roundup. In past years, our family did all the work of vaccinating all of the cows and calves ourselves, but more recently, since acquiring a larger herd of cattle, we have started inviting other cowboy friends and their families to come help out and enjoy an evening on the ranch. We started in the early afternoon, around 2:00, working a few of the cows, and as more help showed up, everyone saddled up and headed out to the fields to bring in all the mama’s and calves. As is the way with most things related to farming, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to have round-up that evening due to the constant rain that week. Thank goodness, the sun decided to peek through every now and then and it turned out to be a beautiful evening. Once the calves and cows were brought in our process went a little like this: The calves were separated from the mamas, each calf was roped, and the bull calves were castrated, and then each calf was vaccinated and ear tagged. It is so much fun to watch!
My niece, Kennedy, who just turned 5, was completely enthralled and after watching for a few minutes, piped up, “I hope they don’t rope me and drag me in there!” After I said that probably wouldn’t be very fun for her, she paused and then said, “Actually, I think that WOULD be kind of fun!” I don’t think her mother would have approved.
Probably the most entertaining part of the night is watching the men try to hold down the calves during the process. Let’s just say there were many moments of laughter, a few close calls of being kicked, and a whole lot of dirty jeans. With so many helping hands, the evening quickly flew by and before we knew it, it was chow time! As an appreciation for those who come out and help or those who simply come out to watch and enjoy, we had grilled Burgers and Hotdogs, as well as having, baked beans, potato salad, chips, and Texas Sheet Cake and Ice Cream. I always enjoy sitting around and listening to all of the stories being swapped between men who have been friends for years or getting to know others with similar lifestyle interests. This year was a little extra special as my father-in-law, from Ohio, was able to come and join us for the fun, and since he is a professional photographer, he also captured some great shots for us! Below we have a few favorites, but if you would like to see more, we will be posting them on our Facebook page as well.
We are now getting into the thick of our summer season, exchanging our saddles with tractor seats as planting and hay cuttings have come upon us. The work can seem never ending, but we chose this lifestyle because we love the work we do. We love the friendships and fellowship it brings about, and any day spent out in nature is a good day! On another note, along with growing calves, we seem to have grown a small army of kittens. What is it about farms that you just can’t keep them away? They are free for the taking, seriously, however many your heart desires. Come take them all. Thank you in advance.